Getting Fat is Going Global: More Than Half of Europeans are Now Overweight

A recent study reports that 50.1% of Europeans are now overweight or obese and, sadly, the numbers for children are one in seven.  Currently the US figure is at 67% for adults, but with this study it’s more proof that getting fat is going global.

Looking through the obesity rates (not just overweight, but people with a BMI of 30 or higher), there is quite a range of numbers. On the lower end were Italy and France with 9.9% and 11.2% obesity rates respectively. Meanwhile the two most obese European nations were England and Ireland at 24.5% and 23% respectively.

There are a few other nuggets from the study.  Children between the ages of 11 and 15 significantly decrease their daily fitness activities.  Only 20% get regular exercise in this group.  All you parents out there are nodding; you’re all thinking Wii and Nintendo just like me!

Of course these rising rates have the same ramifications for the E.U. that we are experiencing here in the U.S.:  more sick people, increases in rates of medical problems such as heart disease, some cancers and diabetes, and skyrocketing medical costs.  Since countries like Britain have medical coverage fully covered by their government, this is a very serious issue.  They could be in worse economic shape than the U.S. if they continue on this path.

For some reason, the results of this study make me feel hopeful.  I keep thinking the Euros will nip this in the bud better than we Americans and maybe they can exert a little peer pressure back at us across the pond.  Okay, wishful thinking I know, but maybe … the governments are strongly invested in seeing healthy citizens since a lot of them have to pay for the health care of those citizens who aren’t.  We could see breakthroughs in research, medical care, marketing campaigns, etc.; all stuff that we can borrow and use stateside.

What do you think?  Would you like to see improvements overseas that could help us back here?  Did you ever think you’d read an article that talks about the French getting fat?  Could this possibly change the fashion industry?

Chime in and let me know what you think,

Thanks,

Lisa

About Lisa Johnson

Lisa Johnson here. I've been a personal trainer since 1997, a Pilates instructor since 1998 and the owner of Modern Pilates since 1999. I'm hoping to give you some good ideas to get or stay in shape with a healthy dose of humor and reality. Thanks for joining me.

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4 Responses to Getting Fat is Going Global: More Than Half of Europeans are Now Overweight

  1. Thatshowiroll December 22, 2010 at 9:06 am #

    A big problem is also losing skinny references, meaning by comparing yourself with other people around you. If most if the people are fat or obese those will be your references to compare weight. A person that in US is considered skinny, may be told it has a little fat in Portugal, be fat in Italy and overweight in France. Even with the increasing obesity levels in Europe I think US is still waaaayy behind, unfortunately scoring the highest levels of morbid obesity. I’ve never saw so many fat people and so much fat as here in USA. I’d point a few habits that definitely contribute for that and are reasons for why Europeans have better lifestyle, but that would be a long post lol.

  2. Lisa Johnson December 22, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    Oh I agree, the US is waaay behind … I was a bit dismayed to see Europe trying to catch up. I was expecting them to nonchalantly poo poo us and keep buying fabulous clothes ;-)

    Lifestyle does have a lot to do with it and portion sizes too. In the end it always comes back to how much you eat and how much you move. Thanks for you comment!

    Lisa

  3. Lauren @ Fun, Fit and Fabulous! December 22, 2010 at 11:06 pm #

    What an interesting yet scary article. I think the part about childhood obesity is the scariest part. When you grow up overweight it’s so hard to break bad habits.

  4. Lisa Johnson December 23, 2010 at 7:28 am #

    Lauren, I agree, the childhood obesity part IS the scariest. We’re teaching our kids to be fat, they have less of a chance of health than we do. Thanks for dropping by, L–

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